As you will notice, one of my themes with Back to Basics this year is how to extend the use from your basic patterns. I get kind of annoyed when I see designers release essentially the same pattern over and over again, with just slight variations. This pattern has a V-neck instead of a scoop neck, this one has some hem variations, this one has sleeve options, etc. Each one of those things is really a very simple hack on a basic pattern and doesn’t require customers to spend additional money on a new pattern, when what they really need are just a few step-by-step instructions.
So, over the next week or so, I will post tutorials to a hack a basic t-shirt pattern to make just about any knit top you could ever want to make! We’ll cover:
- How to turn a scoop neck into a V-neck
- How to turn a straight hem into a knotted hem
- How to turn a scoop neck into a cowl neck
- How to turn a straight hem into a banded hem
- How to turn a sleeved pattern into a tank pattern
- How to turn a straight hem into a curved hem
- How to turn a straight hem into a split hem
For my base pattern, I am using the Only Tee (affiliate link) from KBSD Patterns, but you can use any basic tee pattern in your stash. There are a plethora of basic tee patterns on the market right now, including some great free ones. And if you need a basic tee pattern, Stephanie is offering 35% off her store with the code B2B so you can pick up this pattern for yourself!
All of my fabrics for this tutorial series are supplied by Simply by Ti, who carries amazing rayon spandex in a variety of prints as well as solids. Perfect for some basic tees!
But down to business! Let’s take a scoop neck tee and turn it into a V-neck. Now if you actually use the Only Tee, Stephanie did all this work for you, and you can just cut the V-neck version of the tee. But there are tons of great free options out there that only offer a scoop neck, as well as paid patterns that just don’t have the V-neck. And even though the Only Tee has a V-neck option, I didn’t use it for this hack, just so we are all suffering together 🙂
Alter Your Pattern
1. First, you’ll need to alter your pattern for a V-neck. I like my V-necks to have a decent amount of curve to them, so I like to follow the curve of the scoop neck pretty closely. Then extend the neckline down so a V at the center front. For mine, I also widened the neckline just a tad.
2. You will also need to cut your neckband, which will be a little longer than the band for your scoop neckline. You can either do it my way, and go by feel (the “stretch and feel” method, as I tend to call it), or you can measure the neck opening and then cut a band that is about 85% of the opening.
3. After you cut the band, cut a triangle into the center of the band. Like this:
Sew the neckband
4. Put the short ends of the neckband together, right sides together. Sew along the point at your seam allowance.
5. Fold the neckband in half and press. Your neckband will have a nice V in it at the seam.
6. Staystitch around the point of the V-neck.
7. Clip the center of the V towards, but not through, the stitching.
8. Line up the raw edge of your neckband with the raw edge of your neckline, right sides together. Starting from the center front of the neckline, stitch the neckband on to the neckline, stretching the band gently to fit. I really recommend at least basting the neckband on with a sewing machine before serging. Getting the V right can be tricky and the sewing machine gives a lot more control. Finish the edges with a serger.
9. Here you can stitch a line of topstitching around the neckline to hold the seam allowance down. Topstitch on the shirt side of the neckband.
And there you have it! Your scoop neck pattern now has a V-neck with no need to buy a new pattern. Pretty easy huh?
Don’t forget to link up your basic makes here!